A round up of music and music business events happening in the next seven days...
60th anniversary of the UK single chart. This Wednesday the official UK singles chart turns 60 years old. In celebration, the Official Charts Company is planning to publish a whole load of editorial content this week, in addition to those stats on top female sellers and million-plus-selling tracks already unleashed. As well as that, on the day itself we will have an interview with Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot.
Adam Buxton & Edith Bowman on 6music. Adam Buxton will return to the Saturday morning slot on BBC 6music this weekend. He will present the show for the next seven weeks, but with Edith Bowman rather than his usual partner Joe Cornish.
Radio Festival. The Radio Academy's annual Radio Festival kicks off in Salford today, and while much of the chatter going on there will probably be related to the BBC meltdown, organisers are also trying to get some other debates going. Billy Bragg will deliver the second ever John Peel Lecture, and will hopefully do a better job than Peter Townshend did last year. Also, Universal Music UK top man David Joseph will be interviewed by Lauren Laverne, and Danny Baker, Sandi Toksvig, Margherita Taylor and Helen Mayhew will be inducted into the Radio Academy's Hall Of Fame.
Joe McElderry stars in Tommy. Joe McElderry is to play the lead role in a new West End production of The Who's rock opera 'Tommy' tonight. The one-off performance will take place in aid of the Pure Theatre Development Fund at the Prince Edward Theatre.
London Jazz Festival. This year's London Jazz Festival actually kicked off last Friday, but it really gets underway this week in lots of venues all over the capital. Amongst the bigger shows on the bulging line-up is a performance at the Royal Festival Hall from the 'sugar man' himself, Sixtoo Rodriguez - enjoying a boost in popularity following the recent 'Waiting For Sugar Man' documentary.
American Music Awards. Yeah, you may have thought we were going to make it all the way through one of these without mentioning an awards ceremony, but no. Awards season is still upon us, and this week it's the turn of the American Music Awards, which awards musicians for being popular in America. Unlike any other American music awards, obviously. Brits on the shortlists are Adele, One Direction, The Wanted and Calvin Harris.
New releases. There are just a silly number of new releases this week. Amongst the artists with albums out are One Direction, Brian Eno, Deftones, Crystal Castles, Soundgarden, Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard, El Perro Del Mar, Pinback, Clinic, Holly Herndon and Strife. The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, Sufjan Stevens and Hemlock Recordings have compilations in various forms; there are re-issues from The Beatles, Lana Del Rey, The Weeknd, Sharon Van Etten and Tatu; and live albums from Machine Head and Sonic Youth. And over in short form releases, why not grab the new EP from Trent Reznor's How To Destroy Angels and the debut single from SBTRKT collaborator Roses Gabor?
Gigs and tours. If you were hoping to see someone play a show in London this week before they go home and put their feet up for a bit, then you might like to check out one-off gigs in the capital from Jake Bugg (no doubt ready to deliver a sermon on rolling a 'fat one' and hiding from the 'feds'), The Vaccines, Flying Lotus, Soundgarden, Adam Green & Binki Shapiro, Dum Dum Girls frontwoman Dee Dee, Weird Dreams, Strangers and His Clancyness. Being far more energetic and heading out on tour are Chris Moyles, Gary Barlow, Frank Turner, Alabama Shakes, Passion Pit, Fucked Up, BEAK>, AlunaGeorge, Halls, Saint Lou Lou, DIIV, and Ghosting Season, plus Dr Martens will be hosting a series of shows featuring sets from Ash, Kids In Glass Houses and Tribes.
FULLER IN DISCUSSIONS WITH FINANCIERS AS UNIVERSAL OPENS 'DATA ROOM' FOR PARLOPHONE SALE
According to Sky News, 'American Idol' creator Fuller is in talks with various partners about raising the cash needed to buy the EMI assets for sale, which include the Parlophone and Chrysalis catalogues from EMI, Universal's Sanctuary catalogue, and half of the Now That's What I Call Music brand.
Rumour has it Fuller, whose core business remains talent management since leaving the CKX group that acquired his original 19 company in 2005, reckons the Now brand is ripe for exploitation in the TV domain, while the more conventional record label side of the Parlophone business would likely be run via Fuller's existing joint venture with Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.
According to Sky's City Editor Mark Kleinman, Fuller's possible finance partners in the Parlophone deal include RIT Capital Partners, the investment trust led by Jacob Rothschild, though discussions are believed to be at an early stage and no commitments have as yet been made by either party.
Although Fuller's bid for Parlophone has been the most high profile since it was confirmed for certain what EMI assets Universal would be selling, both BMG and Warner Music are still thought to be considering bidding, while Sky cites insiders as saying that Universal has received over 90 expressions of interest in the catalogues and labels on the block.
The mega-major is expected to kick start the bidding process this week by opening a 'data room' for serious bidders, where they can gather more information about the assets up for sale. That room will be accessible for about a fortnight. Timescales for bid submissions are not yet known, though the Mail On Sunday says that Universal bosses hope to have the deal done by next March at the latest.
While Warner Music has always been expected to bid for any EMI assets sold off by Universal or Sony/ATV (the latter having led the consortium that bought the EMI music publishing business, of course), some have wondered whether Universal would consider selling to its major label rival, given the lengths Warner went to in its unsuccessful bid to have the Universal/EMI bid blocked by regulators in both the US and Europe.
But when asked about that by Hits Daily Double recently, Universal chief Lucian Grainge insisted that: "We are very open-minded about where Parlophone goes. I just want to make sure it goes to an investor that will be responsible. And at the same time, the balance is between our satisfaction on price, and also my shareholders' satisfaction on the value of the divestment. You know, the good news about this divestment process is that they are really good divestments. There's great quality there. And it is our responsibility as a team to make sure that we materialise the best possible package for ourselves".
Of course however much Grainge et al dislike Warner Music management just now over their open opposition to the big EMI deal, Universal couldn't really justify to its shareholders turning the major away if it arrived with the highest offer for Parlophone etc. Though given how Warner execs played the game when bidding against Universal for EMI Music in its entirety, and given their subsequent statement to the effect that they believed Universal overpaid, it seems unlikely the mini-major will be the highest bidder in this latest EMI sale.
MTV EMAS PRESENTED
Whitney Houston was presented a Global Icon award, though, as the Mirror's 3AM section expertly noted, she wasn't celebrating the win on account of her being dead and all. Also not celebrating, the Mirror was keen to note, was Rihanna, who won none of the six awards she was nominated for. "Ouch" says the tab.
Here are the winners in full.
Best Female: Taylor Swift
Best Rock: Linkin Park
Best Song: Carly Rae Jepson - Call Me Maybe
Best Look: Taylor Swift
Global Icon: Whitney Houston
DANIEL O'DONNELL BREAKS OFFICIAL CHART RECORD, HAS MOST CONSECUTIVE CHARTING LPS
A "delighted" O'Donnell contemplates the accolade thus: "Different things stick out from each year and each year brings something new, but having the success of the 25 years in the charts is a great personal satisfaction. I had looked at becoming a banker or a teacher but the call to singing was always really strong for me. The last 25 years have been great and I don't regret a single day of it".
INXS REPORTEDLY SPLIT
35 years in the game, the Aussie rockers have had various frontmen since the death of founding vocalist Michael Hutchence in 1997, including JD Fortune, the Canadian recruited via a TV talent show, who had two stints fronting the group. Though more recently Irish singer Ciaran Gribbin has taken that role, including at what was possibly the band's final ever show.
NEW TEGAN AND SARA ALBUM SCHEDULED
Says Sara of the new record: "No one will confuse this with any of our other records. It's got a bigger, bolder, happier sound". While Tegan said of the songwriting process this time round: "I kept asking myself: Can I hear this in an arena? Can I hear this on a teenager's iPod as they're riding the bus to school?"
You can see whether the news songs do indeed work in an arena at Killers shows at the MEN Arena in Manchester and O2 Arena in London this week, where Tegan And Sara are supporting.
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB SUPPORT FREEDOM FROM TORTURE CHARITY
The Bombay Bicycle Club show will take place at Camden's KOKO on 22 Dec, with support from Trophy Wife and Dan Croll. The band's frontman Jack Steadman told CMU: "We are really pleased to be part of this festival to support victims of torture and raise awareness of Freedom From Torture's incredible work".
While Marika Chaplais, Freedom From Torture's events fundraiser, added: "We are thrilled Bombay Bicycle Club, Trophy Wife and Dan Croll are taking a stand against torture and raising vital funds for our work. We want people to come to KOKO to hear the brilliant music and learn about our work to help and support survivors of torture and to raise awareness of its devastating impact. Everyone who buys a ticket for this event will positively impact on the lives of torture survivors as we help them to rebuild their lives".
Details of all the shows taking place in December as part of Freedom From Torture Presents are available at presents.freedomfromtorture.org
MORE SPEAKERS ADDED TO MUSICTANK TICKETING THINK TANK
Now confirmed to speak are Christiaan Munro from direct-to-fan company Sandbag, who will present a case study on the ticketing of Radiohead's recent world tour, its aims and the lessons learned, and Songkick's Dan Rogers, who is in charge of the gig data company's new Detour crowdfunding project. They will contribute to the debate on innovations in the primary ticketing market.
Meanwhile on the secondary ticketing front, Ben Turner, co-chair of the Association Of Independent Festivals, Richard Marks, founder of ethical ticketing exchange Scarlet Mist, and Caitlin Graham, Policy Advisor at Which?, are now all set to join the debate, following a keynote from Aline Renet of PRODISS, the trade organisation for the French live music industry that successfully pushed for legislative change in France that gives promoters more control over their tickets.
This will all take place in London on 5 Dec from 5.30pm - 9pm. Info via this link.
RATINGS AGENCY DOWNGRADES SONY CORP
The rating change follows Sony's most recent financial update, which actually saw revenues increase, earnings before interest and taxes go into profit, and losses overall half, though even that improved performance didn't meet expectations in City circles, where analysts had been hoping for a quicker turn round in Sony Corp's fortunes after years of depressing figures.
Moody's said that it believed that the Sony film and music businesses remained "stable", but that it was concerned about the continued poor performance of Sony's all important consumer electronics divisions, especially TVs and phones. On the entertainment side, the credit agency said that what concerns it had were about the future performance of Sony's gaming business.
Sony Corp is yet to respond to the downgrading, the group's second in a month. The company's newish overall chief, Kazuo Hirai, has been trying to turn round the Japanese conglom's fortunes, the firm having suffered mainly from the slump in sales of its televisions and some other consumer electronic devices, coupled with a strong yen and some natural disasters hitting certain key operations.
AEG ANNOUNCES ALLIANCE WITH STUBHUB IN US
Under the arrangement, resellers using StubHub will be able to have tickets for AEG shows automatically reassigned to buyers using a ticket's barcode, meaning fans buying from the secondary market won't rely on the seller to deliver the ticket. As part of the new alliance, eBay-owned PayPal will also become a payment option on AEG's new primary ticketing service AXS.com.
AEG has entered the ticketing market in response to its previous ticketing partner, Ticketmaster, being acquired by its main rival Live Nation. Ticketmaster operates its own secondary ticketing services - TicketsNow in the US and Get Me In in the UK - something that has garnered the ticketing giant no little criticism from those who oppose the growth of online ticketing touting, especially in America. AEG will therefore presumably want to manage its alliance with StubHub carefully.
As previously reported, AXS.com recently launched in the UK, albeit initially only selling tickets for AEG's East London O2 complex. Meanwhile, StubHub launched over here back in March. Whether that means the AXS/StubHub partnership will be expanded into Europe remains to be seen.
KOBALT LAUNCHES LABEL SERVICES DIVISION IN AUSTRALIA
Kobalt launched an artist and label services unit in the UK back in January, aided by the acquisition of digital distributor AWAL. In Australia, Kobalt Label Services will be headed up by Ben Godding, who has previously worked for both Universal Music and EMI in the region, though was most recently at independent management and marketing company Original Music.
Confirming the launch of a label services division in his territory, the boss of Kobalt Music Australia Simon Moor is quoted by The Music Network thus: "With the establishment of Kobalt Label Services in Australia and New Zealand and the appointment of Ben Godding, Kobalt continues to create a better alternative for artists, writers and content owners to take control of their future and maximise the value of their music".
SPOTIFY TO COMPLETE NEW FUNDING ROUND, ANNOUNCES ARTIST & MANAGER GRANT
Still, let's not allow such doom talk ruin the Spotify expansion party. And the streaming music service is planning on sharing some of its wealth, with a new ten grand grant being made available to an artist/manager partnership that "shows great promise". The grant will be made as part of the digital firm's support of the UK Artist & Manager Awards, staged by the Music Managers Forum and Featured Artists Coalition. Five new artists will be shortlisted for the grant, which aims to allow the winning act to develop creatively and commercially, with the overall winner being announced at the A&M Awards on 27 Nov.
Mark Williamson, Spotify's Director of Artist Services, told CMU: 'We're really proud to be working with the MMF and FAC on the Artist & Manager Awards which recognise the value of artist and manager partnerships to the industry. We hope that the Spotify Artist & Manager Grant will help the winning partnership to progress their career and get that much closer to achieving their goals".
BBC RADIO MAN IN CHARGE AFTER CRISIS WEEKEND FOR THE BEEB
Only at the BBC could management failings 30 plus years ago, and two poor editorial decisions on a late night news show, lead to such an all-out meltdown. But, while few have ever had to deal with such a baptism of fire in a new job, Entwistle simply lacked the charisma to defend the BBC, to both politicians and rival news organisations, when the shit hit the fan, and the scale of Jimmy Savile's alleged child abuse became clear, some of his assaults having been conducted on BBC premises against BBC audience members.
Entwistle couldn't be held responsible for a chauvinistic corporate culture at the Corporation three decades ago, nor the poor duty of care that BBC management of old seemingly offered to the children involved in its shows. And he couldn't be held directly responsible for a 'Newsnight' editor choosing to kill a report on the allegations against a then recently dead Savile in late 2011, allowing rival ITV News to break the story nearly a year later.
But few were impressed with the way Entwistle handled the uproar that erupted after ITV first aired its allegations against Savile, and which only grew as more and more allegations were made about the former BBC star and some of those around him. And questions were asked as to why, as boss of BBC TV in late 2011, he let a number of tribute shows to the late Savile go ahead, despite being aware that 'Newsnight' was investigating damaging allegations against the former DJ.
Though it was another 'Newsnight' report that forced the bumbling DG to finally quit. With a plethora of adults coming forward, in the wake of Savile-gate, claiming to have been abused by prominent figures as children, the BBC news programme ran a report linking a senior player in the 1980s Conservative Party to a well documented child abuse scandal in North Wales, in which children in care homes were abused throughout the 1970s and 80s.
Although BBC lawyers wouldn't let 'Newsnight' name the Tory who was being accused, online commentators were less careful, stating that the child abuser was Alistair McAlpine. But the allegations were entirely false; all evidence made McAlpine's involvement in the child abuse scandal impossible, and the main accuser, one of the people abused at the Bryn Estyn children's home in Wrexham, confirmed he'd made a mistake as soon as he saw a photo of the Tory Lord.
As DG, Entwistle is also Editor In Chief of the BBC's news operations, and in that role was forced to issue a grovelling apology for the latest 'Newsnight' cock up after McAlpine issued a public statement hitting out at his accusers, including the Beeb. One crisis too many, and this one occurring on his watch, Entwistle had to go, leaving Patten, who oversaw the appointment of the new DG, to feel the heat, promising "a radical overhaul" of the Corporation following a rush to appoint a new executive chief.
Of course anyone who has had any dealings with the BBC will know that the Corporation is top heavy hierarchy and overly bureaucratic culture, and a tendency to treat certain expensive divisions as "untouchable" while cutting the budgets of others, is far from ideal. Though, of course, the BBC also remains one of the best and most innovative broadcasters in the world, and with a highly regarded news division, despite recent setbacks. Some will therefore worry about any radical overhaul of the Corporation being initiated in the midst of a crisis, though sometimes such crises make much needed change easier to achieve.
Probably top of any revamp agenda will be the much discussed (well, it was much discussed yesterday) proposal that the Editor In Chief of the BBC's news output should be someone other than the DG, in much the same was as newspaper organisations have Editors to take responsibility for editorial decisions, and CEOs or MDs to take the heat over commercial dealings.
This morning the Beeb's top two news execs also stepped down - and had one of those been Editor In Chief it's possible Entwistle could have stayed on (though, given his handling of the wider crisis, very possibly not). Any split of the DG and Editor In Chief role would require a rewrite of the BBC's Royal Charter, though in the current climate, that would probably be quite easy to speed through.
Meanwhile, BBC Audio & Music man Tim Davie had been due to move over to the top job at the Corporation's commercial division BBC Worldwide. How soon before that can now happen remains to be seen. And whether Audio & Music will still be a standalone division with its own chief moving forward will depend on just how radical Patten and his new DG really want to be in overhauling poor Auntie.
RADIO 1 ANNOUNCES MORE SCHEDULE REJIGS
The latest departures from the nation's favourite are chart show man Reggie Yates and weekend DJ Vernon Kay. The former will be replaced by Jameela Jamil, the first woman to front Radio 1's Top 40 countdown show on her own, while Kay's departure will see Matt Edmondson's role at the station increased. He will now appear on both Saturday and Sunday mornings, the former slot replacing Kay, the latter in place of Sara Cox, who is moving to weekdays to fill in for Fearne Cotton while she's away on maternity leave.
It's thought both Yates and Kay chose to depart Radio 1 themselves, rather than being pushed, though their exiting helps Cooper with his ongoing shake-up of the station's output. Also on the station's new line-up, which will kick off at the end of the year (assuming the BBC hasn't completely imploded into dust by then), are YouTube stars Phil Lester and Dan Howell, who will front a fully web-cammed Sunday evening request show, while comedian Tom Deacon gets Edmonson's current Wednesday night slot for a new comedy show.
Cooper told CMU: "I'd like to thank Vernon and Reggie, who have both been excellent ambassadors for Radio 1 during their ten years with us. I wish them all the very best. I'm excited by our brand new shows, which will appeal to the smartphone generation, with our audience able to listen, watch and share Radio 1's great content".
BIEBER AND GOMEZ SPLIT
Anonymous sources seemingly confirmed the split to The Associated Press this weekend, citing "hectic schedules keeping the couple apart" as the main issue. Though People magazine threw "trust issues" into the mix for good measure. Meanwhile gossip columnists, bloggers and fans the world over have been trying to dissect recent social media postings by both pop stars that might have been code for "we've split up guys".
For example, Bieber tweeted "thank u Boston" yesterday, and Boston, of course, is particularly famous for the 1773 'Tea Party' protests that are intrinsically linked to America's subsequent independence from Britain, meaning that tweet almost certainly was the Biebster saying "I'm now independent from that bitch Selena". Meanwhile late last month Gomez tweeted "happy Halloween", a festivity that is, of course, part of Western culture's take on the Festival Of The Dead, and therefore clearly what Selena really meant was "that bastard Bieber is dead to me".
ONO THANKS MACCA FOR BEATLES SPLIT COMMENTS
As previously reported, Macca recently told David Frost in an interview that, despite what rock legend might tell you, it just wasn't true that John Lennon's relationship with Ono was behind the collapse of the Fab Four at the end of the 1960s, saying that his bandmate would have almost certainly quit the band anyway, as his outlook on the world and his art began to shift. McCartney: "She certainly didn't break the group up - I don't think you can blame her for anything".
Thanking Macca for those remarks, Ono has now told The Guardian: "I thought people knew that I was not responsible, but surprisingly, many people still felt that. He was very brave [to clear things up]. So I'd like to say 'Thank you, Paul. I love you, we love you'".